Scott Hennen, a popular radio personality based in North Dakota, finds himself far from home on a Juven tour of Norway. The tour takes Americans, mostly with North Dakota and Minnesota roots, on tours throughout the country and helps to connect them with family and ancestral homes. Tourists also get to explore the Norwegian countryside and Fjords.
Today, the bus takes them from Oslo to Lillehammer, with a few stops along the way.
“This is my first time in Norway,” Hennen said. “I feel like I am in Disneyland just taking it all in.”
Hennen and his wife have a special interest in the genealogical aspect of the tour, as his wife is of Norwegian descent and has relatives in Tynset. They have also brought along their two children to meet their younger cousins for the first time.
The Hennens are not alone on this trip, however. Juven Tours and Travel worked with Hennen to bring dozens of Hennen’s listeners along for the ride. Many of them are also meeting their own relatives and diving into their Norwegian backgrounds.
Don Glesne, North Dakota, is one of these listeners. However his ties to Hennen run a bit deeper, as their wives are cousins. Glesne will be heading to Tynset to visit his great grandfather’s homestead later on the trip.
Bonnie Benson, Jennifer Benson, and Larissa Green, all from North Dakota, had the unique opportunity to meet a family member who they had previously only contacted on Facebook. “It was truly like we had always known each other, it was like oh! There you are again,” Bonnie Benson said.
As a radio personality, Hennen is also documenting his trip to Norway for his show back in North Dakota.
Hennen is known on air for holding right wing political views – a stark contrast to the Norwegian political system, which is based on democratic socialism and where the population leans further left than the American Left. While he notes that the political system seems to be working for Norway, he does express doubt about the system and questions whether or not it could be applied in America.
“Lots of people say Norway has figured out the quality of life,” Hennen said, “and they have no national debt, all of which is true but they also have an enormous amount of taxation and its a smaller country too. It’s only 5 million people and it makes it easier to do what they did here.”
One of Hennen’s loyal fans, Patrick Baranski from North Dakota, joined the trip just for the experience of travelling with Hennen. He is a political poet and pastor who shares very similar conservative views. He has even read some of his work on Hennen’s radio show. Regarding Norway’s political system he said, “there are some people that I would send here because they would love it, but I wouldn’t want to live here.”
Whether these North Dakotans agree with the political system in Norway or not, they can all agree that the country is beautiful and they are excited to experience all it has to offer.
After Lillehammer, the group will travel to Andalsnes in the middle region of the west coast. They will then continue downwards until they reach Bergen to conclude their trip and return to the U.S. on July 2.
To learn more about Juven Travel and Tours and Scott Hennen’s trip to Norway, visit www.oslorocks.blog or HPR Abroad online.